Prizm News / August 7, 2019 / By Ken Schneck

DOs and DON’Ts for navigating Keller remaining in office

Yesterday, Ohio State Representative Candice Keller (R – Middletown) told the Cincinnati Enquirer that she has no intention of resigning.

She refuses to step down despite her vile and dangerous sentiments blaming the mass murder in Dayton on various groups including the LGBTQ+ community. She refuses to step down despite being asked to resign by the Ohio Republican Chairwoman, the sheriff of her own county, and any and all individuals with common decency. And she refuses to step down despite her office being deluged with communication (from within Ohio and from the world at-large) telling her in no uncertain terms that she is unfit to hold public office.

So it would seem that we here in Ohio are stuck with Candice Keller for now: a fringe outlier for sure, but a fringe outlier who actually has a say in the crafting of laws that very much affect our lives. Pause and read that again. The significance of such a bigoted voice being present in the Ohio Statehouse cannot be overstated, so we offer forth some DOs and DON’Ts to navigate Candice Keller remaining an Ohio lawmaker.

  • DO stay informed. Those who have been keeping tabs on Ohio politics know that this week’s behavior is nothing new for Keller. She will undoubtedly do something similarly repulsive within days, weeks, or possibly before dinnertime today. Thus…
  • DON’T stop contacting Candice Keller’s office. Representative Keller cannot be allowed to fly under the radar. When she does something else homophobic or racist or <fill in the blank because she’s done it before>, she needs to be roundly condemned.
  • DO run for office. Keller has already announced her intentions to run for Ohio State Senate. This highlights the desperate need we have for out LGBTQ+ candidates at all levels of government. Senator Antonio is great, but she’s only one person. We need more. If you’re thinking, “But I’m not qualified!” may we please direct you to a current Ohio State Representative who is most assuredly LESS qualified? Check out The Victory Fund to learn more about what it means to run for office. (You can do it!) 
  • DON’T summarily dismiss those who live in Butler County. So many conversations in the past few days have inappropriately included the phrase, “Yeah, but some of the people Butler County…”. This is reductive, inaccurate, and a true disservice to our LGBTQ+ siblings who do not feel represented by their current lawmaker. Reach out to your neighbors in Butler County; they’re in the same fight for equality as the rest of us across the state.
  • DO stand proud. We said it before and we’ll say it again: LGBTQ+ individuals bear not one iota of blame for the horrors inflicted upon our siblings in Dayton. For some, this is easy to remember. For others, a reminder might be needed in the face of an elected official saying otherwise. Remind yourself and take the time to remind a fellow LGBTQ+ Ohioan.